Detroit(MI: USA): Yoga has been revealing its ability to help with a host of conditions from pain and headaches to depression and fatigue.
As far back as 2009, yoga was demonstrated to provide significant benefits to women fighting breast cancer. Wake Forest University School of Medicine researchers conducted a study on the effects of yoga and breast cancer. A survey of a randomized group of 44 women all with breast cancer and were actively undergoing cancer treatments like chemotherapy with the other already completed treatment of some type. Half of the women had participated in a ten week program of 75 minute Restorative yoga classes.
Those who participated in yoga had shown a great improvement in overall mental health especially in the areas of less depression and having more positive outlook. They also experience less problems with fatigue.
Another study presented at the 34th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium had shown that patients with metastatic breast cancer just may benefit from the practice of yoga.
This small randomized trial had been conducted by yogis and physicians which included Dr. S.K. Gopinath, M.D., of the Department of Surgical, Medical and Radiation Oncology at the HCG-BIO Super Specialty Center in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
This randomized study consisted of 45 women who had daily yoga and 46 who had standard supportive counseling.
Researchers had found that those who participated in the yoga intervention was remarkably effective. Following the study period, those who had yoga had significant decreases in anxiety, depression, perceived stress, fatigue severity and interference. They also had significant improvements in emotional, role and cognitive function and quality of life. The researchers had concluded in view of foregoing laboratory values that yoga just may improve the quality of life for those with metastatic breast cancer. Researchers also had written “Metastatic breast cancer patients experience tremendous psychological distress due to treatment, disease, and uncertainty of their survival.”
Yoga also helps the effects of women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer. University of MD Anderson Cancer Center had shown that women who participated in yoga classes during radiotherapy had the most favorable cortisol rhythms and heart variability at six months after diagnosis remarkably better than those women in stretching class or on a control group wait list.
This study in part had been funded by the National Cancer Institute. Participants were 18 years of age or older with no metastatic diseases. Excluded were women who had practiced yoga or had taken classes one year prior to study and those with active non-canalized deep vein thrombosis.
Now comes a new study just presented December 16th in the journal Cancer. This study was conducted by UCLA researchers who suggest that yoga could help breast cancer survivors overcome post-treatment fatigue.
According to the Mayo Clinic many breast cancer survivors experience fatigue during and after treatment which can last for years.
In the UCLA study, 31 breast cancer survivors had participated for treatment for their fatigue for over a 12 week period at UCLA Medical Center, where each woman had been randomly assigned to participate in either two ninety minute yoga classes each week or two hour health classes once a week.
When the study at began all women had similar scores on a questionnaire which gauged fatigue levels.
The group in which participated in the health classes had experienced about the same amount of fatigue and energy throughout the initial study period. Those who had taken part in the yoga classes had reported around a 26% reduction in fatigue and 55% increase in energy after the twelve weeks.
Even after the classes had stopped, the women who had participated in yoga still reported remarked improvements in fatigue three months later. Researchers did note that all women had about the same expectations that the treatments would help them, therefore, the placebo effect is not a likely reason for the benefits seen in the yoga group.
Research has been demonstrating that yoga just may be helping breast cancer patients when it comes to fatigue, improving physical functioning, reducing stress, improving sleep and quality of life.
When seeking a yoga instructor find one that has experience teaching. You can also check with practitioner for recommendations for yoga instructors that have worked with breast cancer patients.